HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI WITH CONFIT CHERRY TOMATOES, BURRATA & BASIL
I think homemade pasta makes anything taste ten times better, but if you don’t have the time to make it fresh, then replace it with 1 pound of spaghetti. Note that when cooking homemade pasta, it takes considerably less time to cook than dried pasta. The noodles are easier to make with two people, as it can be difficult to manage by yourself. Once the dough lengthens out, you have to feed it through the machine and catch it at the end at the same time (it can be done – two people just makes it easier.)
This pasta is all about bringing the most flavor out of a few ingredients. To confit the cherry tomatoes you cook them slowly over low heat, as this preserves them but also gives them incredible flavor. I love adding confit tomatoes to pizzas and sandwiches but they are also the perfect compliment to the creamy burrata on this pasta. The tomato mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container covered in oil for up to a week.
Blanching the tomatoes means that you are taking an extra step, but it’s worth it for the texture of the sauce as you don’t end up with tough pieces of skin in the pasta.
For the homemade spaghetti:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
For the confit tomatoes:
2 pounds cherry tomatoes
½ cup basil leaves
2 sprigs oregano
8 cloves garlic, sliced
2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 ounces burrata, torn into pieces
¼ torn basil leaves, for garnish
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for serving
For the homemade spaghetti:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, semolina, salt and olive oil. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs. Turn the mixer on low speed and mix until the eggs are completely incorporated, about 2 minutes.
Turn the pasta dough out onto a lightly floured workspace. Work the dough until it comes together completely and is moist enough to hold together but is not sticky. If the dough is too dry add water 1 teaspoon at a time. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and flatten them into discs. Let the dough rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Divide each dough ball in half again so that you have 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle a parchment paper lined baking sheet with flour. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap so the dough does not dry out.
To begin rolling out the pasta dough, attach the roller attachment according to the manufacturer's instructions. Set the machine to the thickest setting. Take one piece of the dough and roll it out into a rectangle ½-inch thick and no wider than the attachment. Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and feed the dough through the roller. Fold the dough in half and feed it through the rollers on the lowest setting, repeating once more. Turn the attachment to a thinner setting, feeding it through, lowering the setting each time until you reach the desired thickness. Transfer the sheet of dough to a floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Attach the spaghetti pasta cutter attachment and feed each sheet of dough through the cutter. If not cooking the pasta immediately, transfer it to a baking sheet and sprinkle with flour so the pasta does not stick together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the confit tomatoes:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice water bath in a medium bowl. Score the bottom of each tomato with a small x then add the tomatoes to the boiling water and blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds. Immediately drain and add the tomatoes to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Use your fingers to slip the skin off the tomatoes and discard.
In a medium saucepot over medium heat add the cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic and shallots. Pour the olive oil over the top, making sure there is enough to completely cover the tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are tender and start to fall apart, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. Discard the basil and oregano. Season with salt.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add ¼ cup of the tomato confit oil and heat through. Add the tomato paste and stir until incorporated then add the pasta and toss to coat. Add the confit tomato mixture and toss again to combine.
To serve: Divide pasta among warmed pasta bowls and top with pieces of burrata, basil and crushed red pepper.
*Homemade pasta recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma.